Re: Re: dead: dick clark

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Posted by joe on April 20, 2012 at 17:50:17:

In Reply to: Re: dead: dick clark posted by personal on April 20, 2012 at 13:29:07:

I remember well the first time I met Dick Clark and I've NEVER shared this incident until now.

It was the summer of 1964. I was on the air at WIDE-AM in Biddeford Maine, a small 1000 watt station. The Dick Clark Caravan of Stars Show (bus tour) was appearing at nearby Old Orchard Beach at the Palace.

A month earlier, I had sent Dick a letter requesting an interview him when the bus pulled in to town. He rep-lied saying, "sure, meet me at the bus stop in the morning and we'll do breakfast!" I couldn't believe it! Talk about excited! Five years earlier, like millions of other teenagers, I was watching my broadcast guru on TV and now I was not only about to meet him in person, but invited to have breakfast! To say the least I was thrilled. Life was good!!

The morning of the big day arrived and there I was "shaking in my boots," standing on the street corner in Old Orchard Beach. It was around nine in the morning, when the big bus pulled in to town and came to a stop in front of a local restaurant. The first person off the bus was Dick. He greeted me with the biggest smile and warmest handshake and said, "man, I've been up all-night and I'm hungry. Come on, Joe, let's go have breakfast!" How cool is this, I thought!!

During our breakfast, Dick, who had recorded promo's for everyone at the station, between bites, asked me if I'd like to introduce one of the acts on his show that night! "Are you kidding, me!" I replied, practically choking on my bacon and eggs! "What time do you want me here?"

That night, I was backstage nervously pacing back and forth, going over my notes. I didn't want to blow my intro as I was about to introduce a trio of ladies on stage. The Palace ballroom was packed to the rafters and it was insufferably hot (no air conditioning back then) and all the windows were open in hopes of grabbing a slight sea-breeze off the ocean. As I was about to walk out on stage. Dick called me back and said, "Joe, we just got word that the girls have picked up their first #1 hit. Give them a huge introduction. "Yes sir, " I nodded, "you got it!!

The girl group were the Supremes and their first #1 hit --- Where Did Our Love Go, which I got to introduce to the screaming teen audience on that sultry July night back in 1964 !! (an interesting side-bar, the Supremes began the DC tour as 3rd or 4th on the bill. By the end they were the headliners!)

Now, it's important to know a couple of things. Dick didn't have to let me introduce the group. It was his show and he was the host. At any moment, he could have pulled me off the assignment, and I would have totally
understood. He didn't. Instead, he let a young "would be" radio personality--working at a small thousand watt radio station do the honors! It was a supreme moment in my budding radio career and something I will never, ever forget. Talk about a generous person. I will ALWAYS remember his kindness.

Dick and I became fast friends and stayed in touch all through the years. Whenever I asked him to appear on my show, he always made "time." What greater gift can one give another than the gift of one's time! He was
a wonderful, giving person. In the late 80's, he asked me to appear on one of his television specials, America Picks the #1 Hits as one of the celebrity air-talents. I was humbled to be asked.

I would always open my oldies show every Saturday night on WROR-98.5 Boston from 1980 until 1992 with Dick's American Bandstand theme. The instrumental version by Les Elgart. It was my way of paying tribute to the man.

A few years ago, while writing my upcoming book, Radio Pro--The making of an on-air personality and what it takes, (pub: by BearManorMedia and released this June) I was in touch with Dick and his wife, Kari to obtain permission to include a photo of Dick in my book. Of course, his answer was "sure."

America has lost a true broadcast pioneer, who loved radio and those involved in it. While those of us, who knew Dick, and felt his encouraging words have lost a dear friend. May God bless his soul.

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